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Javed Amir

Author

 

ABOUT

Author, editor , globetrotter Javed Amir is a retired diplomat and former Washington Bureau chief of The Frontier Post.  His five literary works are The Mask, (short stories and poems), Writing Across Boundaries (Essays on multiculturalism and Translations), Modern Soap (Novel) , Thought Never Dies (Essays, Book Reviews and Nostalgia) and  A Wanderer between the Worlds (Literary travels 1970-2020).

Since 1992 a slew of his essays and articles on a multitude of subjects have appeared in The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, India Abroad, Dawn, The Friday Times, Nation and The Frontier Post among others. He has appeared on CSPAN dozens of times participating at Book Festivals and Politics and Prose, debating with politicians and delivering lectures at Universities as well as at The Library of Congress. 

Amir has lived in Maryland in suburban Washington with his wife Clemencia Amir since 1978.  They have three children and four grandchildren.

 

PUBLISHED BOOKS

A Wanderer Between the Worlds (2021)
 

A Wanderer Between the Worlds is a memoir of literary travel over the last 50 years in which the author has traveled on all five continents.  

The book combines the romance of travel with the poetry of thought, exploring the connection between artists and the land in which they lived.


 

"The book is a fragrant collage of music and poetry rendered in vibrant colours. It is in a true sense Javed Amir’s tour de force."

-Professor Emeritus Dr. Amjad Hussain, University of Ohio

The Friday Times

"Reading Amir's book ... has renewed in me the passion for travelling."

-Muhammad Akbar Notezai

DAWN

"Javed Amir, ex-diplomat now settled in America, describes his literary travels in his elegant travel memoir "A Wanderer Between the Worlds". He begins with the "Role of Lahore: The City which defines Me"  and continues to interweave references to his favorite writers and artists including James Joyce, Pablo Neruda, Dylan Thomas, H. L. Mencken, Philip Roth, Camus, T. S. Eliot, James Baldwin, V.S. Naipaul, Orhan Pamuk, Van Gogh, Renoir, Chopin and many many others in their respective cities on five continents."

-Muneeza Shamsie

London Journal of Commonwealth Literature

"A Wanderer's Tale."

-Syed Afsar Sajid,

Pakistan Today

Thought Never Dies (2014)
 

​Thought Never Dies is a multifaceted book. To the young, who live in the de-mythologized world of the Internet, it speaks with "another voice." To the old, it is a coming of age book. Amir's exploration of deep thought in human experience will find resonance in their minds.

This book will delight all readers with its elegance, imagination, insights and scholarship.

“Javed Amir’s selection of essays and reviews encapsulates his search for a worldview. His finding is that if the truth being pursued is narrow it flouts wisdom and breeds intolerance of truths found by others. Equipped with the widest possible reading experience, he contemplates the idea of the sacred and tells us that it lies in the non-judgmental sphere of life, away from the certitudes that disfigure our souls”

-Khaled Ahmed,

Consulting Editor, Newsweek,

The News

"As a glob-trotter too, he seems to have assimilated a wide variety of knowledge and experience which imperceptibly creeps into the kaleidoscopic panorama of his writings and lends them inter alia, a new dimension and direction."

-Syed Afsar Sajid,

Pakistan Today

Modern Soap (2002)
 

Modern Soap is a literary novel of idea-driven fiction which blends the mythic and the mundane. It is a saga of wealth, love and greed in Pakistan.

The novel juxtaposes two stories. One, of a factory called "Modern Soap" and the other of a modern soap opera, South Asian style.

“Javed Amir’s novel is a light, enjoyable and entertaining satire about a bureaucrat who helps his relatives set up a soap factory in modern Pakistan. At the heart of the novel are tales of avarice, corruption and seduction in the corridors of power.”

-Muneeza Shamsie,

DAWN

"Javed's canvass is realistic, his narrative simple but elegant, the pace is moderate and in that he captures the broad sweep of societal evolution and the minutia of individual tribulations. "

-Ambassador Riaz Mohammad Khan,

Former Foreign Secretary & Author

“It is my view that Amir has created a contemporary masterpiece. I read it cover to cover with undiluted interest—such was the power of events and characters portrayed and the telling portraits of the times that we have lived in and I still live in.”

-Ejaz Rahim,

Fmr. Cabinet Secretary,

Author & Poet

Writing Across Boundaries (1998)
 

Discussion in the popular media about American identity has usually centered either on the whole society or on a particular ethnic group. The nature and challenge for the individual has largely been ignored. "Writing Across Boundaries," a collection of fourteen literary essays and articles, addresses this unique challenge from the individual ethnic American writer's point of view.

Having lived, worked and written in five continents, his goal is to further multicultural co-existence by bringing the world together in literature, art, religion, and culture by emphasizing common grounds as well as by exposing false boundaries.

“This fascinating book has been published in Lahore; its writings draw their view-line from the West, and look upon an extended human scenario which is at present confronted with many challenges. Javed Amir is a retired diplomat and an old Ravian, and a keen observer of cultural undercurrents. He is perhaps the first Pakistani intellectual and writer who has formulated the question about the dilemma of becoming an American. His insight is enlightening, sympathetic and full of appeal.”

-Professor Emeritus Gilani Kamran, University of Punjab,

(Read Full Review)

“Readers have in their hands a work that is both eclectic and moving at the same time. This collection of essays draws on the tradition of Francis Bacon and Montaigne, yet remains resolutely historical in its impetus. Its anti-chronological independence confirms the resolution of a text that has neither an agenda or an ideology to preach, but offers instead a handful of stories, artfully rendering acts of cultural translation.”

 -Sara Suleri Goodyear,

Associate Professor, Yale University

(Read Full Review)

“In this erudite, deeply felt and highly readable collection of essays Amir displays a new American identity which is not merely the residue of the cliched melting pot, but much more, an original, versatile and attractive work on multiculturalism.”

-Shashi Tharoor,

Author, Politician,

Fmr. United Nations Under-secretary

The Mask (1969)
 

This book contains food for every palate, including experiments in the new vogue of impressionistic short stories. 

In focusing on the mental life of the protagonist, in accidentally confronting him with total self-revelation and in the inability to communicate with the reader directly, the impressionistic short story breaks through the Aristotelean definition of Plot in terms of a beginning, middle, and end.  Instead, it tends to achieve the condition of a lyric!

“The Mask is an impressive first book by a talented young writer. What is remarkable about the short stories and the poems is not only the degree of literary skill they exhibit, but also the quality of the imaginative experience they draw upon.”

-The Pakistan Review magazine

RECENTLY PUBLISHED ARTICLES

PARADISE LOST

January 17, 2021

DAWN Newspaper

FEAR AND LOATHING IN THE WHITE HOUSE

September 30, 2018

DAWN Newspaper

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN AMERICAN?

July 3, 2018

The Baltimore Sun

ENGLISH IS NO LONGER A MONOPOLOY OF THE WEST

May 18, 2018

The Washington Post

ISLAM AND MODERNITY IN PAKISTAN - II

January 9, 2018

Pakistan Today

ISLAM AND MODERNITY IN PAKISTAN

January 9, 2018

Pakistan Today

HOW AMERICA LOST ITS MIND

January 7, 2018

DAWN Newspaper

THE SUPERMARKET OF SORROW

September 17, 2017

DAWN Newspaper

THE MOST SCANDALOUS NOVEL EVER WRITTEN

April 16, 2017

DAWN Newspaper

THE MYTH OF THE CLASSLESS SOCIETY

January 22, 2017

DAWN Newspaper

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